Monday, July 8, 2013

My Favorite Home-Canned Dill Pickles


Are you pickly?
I sure am.  In a big, bad way.

When I was a kid I made myself sick not once but twice from eating too many pickles.
Then there was the famed Dill Pickle club co-founded by my friend Tracie and I.
We had matching plastic dill pickle lapel pins.
It never did catch on like we had hoped.

A few years ago I tried to make dill pickles using the Mrs. Wages packet.
Major Pickle Flop.
No offense, Mrs. Wages.

They were mushy and disgusting. They started disintegrating in the jars. Blech.

It was much too traumatic to even think about trying again. But last year my friend Alison brought a jar of home-canned pickled to our Monday night carry-in/Bible study.
Praise the Lord, I saw the light.
I think I ate half the jar.

They were kinda sour, kinda sweet.
Crunchy.
Tangy.
Should I go on?
Garlicky.
Crispy. 
Pickly

I don't grow enough cukes in our little garden (more on that tomorrow!) for canning, so I just buy some from a farm stand or farmer's market. The ones I bought last year were bumpy (not at all like grocery store cucumbers) and small, maybe 4 inches long.

I'll be making a double batch this year in an effort to avert the pickle hoarding and other associated dramas experienced in the Martin household last winter.

Alison's Pickles
Put one peeled garlic clove on bottom of jar, followed by a layer of pickles, a head of fresh dill* in middle, more pickles & another garlic clove on top.
Add brine: 2 c. Vinegar, 3 c. Sugar, 2 c. Water, 2 tsp salt. Bring all ingredients to boil. Pour over pickles.
Water bath 15 min @ boil. Remove immediately. Pickles get mushy if left in too long. Basically, you want lids to seal. Not much cooking is needed for pickles. Makes 4 qts.

*I also bought my fresh dill heads at a farm stand. You can kind of see them up in the jars. They're pretty large, just stuff them in the jar!

Do you do any canning or preserving? I'm a fan and I mostly blame nostalgia. I'm big on fresh veggies so I won't do a ton, but I love the idea of "putting up" some food. I grew up in a family of major league canners, so it's been fun to ease my way in. So far this year I've made strawberry-peach freezer jam, pureed strawberries and whole frozen strawberries. I plan to do green beans, diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, pickled red beets and applesauce.

And pickles. Duh.

What are you canning this year?


Two of my favorite canning and preserving resources:
Homemade Living: Canning and Preserving with Ashley Engligh
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving


*All links are Amazon Affiliate links.